Handyman: Winter work gear keeps you warm for projects

Glenn Haege
Special to The Detroit News

Just because the weather is getting colder doesn’t mean the outdoor projects are going to stop. That’s why it is important to have the proper clothing that will keep you warm and dry.

The good news is that there are plenty of companies that are making comfortable work gear perfect for the DIY guy or gal.

A warm coat is the first thing you need. And one of the brands of coats I see most often amongst professional contractors is Carhartt, Their most popular for outdoor work is the Thermal Lined Cotton Duck Jacket, which features a hood and is perfect for milder winter temperatures. And it is also roomy enough that you can ad one of Carhartt’s insulated work vests to give you an added layer of warmth. A traditional item in the Carhartt catalog that provides much needed warmth for winter projects is the Duck Quilt Lined Bib overalls.

Contractors and do-it-yourselfers can go high tech with the M12 Cordless Heated Jacket by Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., This multilayered, waterproof and wind-resistant jacket features lithium rechargeable battery technology to heat the jacket for up to six hours on a single charge. Milwaukee has expanded its offerings to include a women’s jacket, new colors, heated hoodies and heated hand warmers.

Flannel is more than a fashion statement. Flannel shirts are also warm and popular in the winter. Duluth Trading,, popularized the flannel work shirt that features a loose fit and the warmth of cotton flannel outside and polyester fleece on the inside. Hats are also vital when working outdoors in the winter, and one company that makes a variety of hats that are perfect for those winter projects is Stormy Kromer,, located in Ironwood, Mich.

A clothing staple in the winter is thermal underwear. The old-fashioned Union Suit variety could cause you to become too warm and sweat. Today’s thermals can keep you both warm and dry. Ergodyne,, has its line of Core Work Wear thermal shirts and pants with sweat wicking technology. Duluth Trading also has a line of base layer fleece pants and shirts with similar capabilities.

Keeping your hands warm while working outdoors is critical, but you also need gloves that are both warm and flexible. Tool manufacturer Dewalt,, has a line of cold-weather gloves that are insulated but also provide the dexterity and necessary grip.

Rocky,, makes sturdy, warm work boots for both men and women including boots with steel toes that are both insulated and waterproof. Other companies include Timberland,, Carhartt, Red Wing Shoes,, and Wolverine,

With the proper outdoor clothing and accessories, you can brag about all the projects you completed even when Mother Nature gives way to Old Man Winter.

For more home improvement advice, call “The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can also be heard on more than 135 radio stations nationwide.